Something Substantial

Something substantial is a bit daunting at the moment. In part because I feel so pressed for time, but more because of the strange and subtle (and maybe shifting?) boundaries around what a minister can blog. It’s always an issue and I try to keep things light (like the quizzes) or, if writing something deeper, use the same “rules” I use for sermons. Those rules aren’t exactly set in stone, but generally include things like not preaching about family, not preaching anyone in the congregation’s story without express permission, balancing hard truths with hope, making sure to properly attribute everything…you get the idea.

Honoring those rules, there is much I cannot say. I can tell you in general that there have been some sad losses in the congregation over the past two weeks. I can tell you that I am also struggling with some health issues that are still in an unresolved state. I’m not good at doctors, so this kind of thing takes a lot out of me. On the positive side, we’ve hired a new church administrator who started today. I am feeling great about him and think he’ll be a real asset to the church.

There is just so much happening that I am feeling as if I’m spinning too fast. July was supposed to be a time when I could ease back into church life, but church life appears to have other plans. Next week is our district Leadership School, where I’ll be chaplain for my third and final year. It’s always a great, but absolutely exhausting week. I will love every second of it, but it leaves no room for anything else.

So, in times like these–overwhelming in both good and hard ways–what do I do to center myself? I fear “not enough” is the real answer, but I do try. Today I find myself repeating Psalm 23:6 to myself:

“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in a sacred place forever.”

This is a sacred place. Let me dwell here in grace.


4 thoughts on “Something Substantial

  1. Sean, be gentle with yourself.

    I’m in that spinning out of control, overwhelmed place too, with this crazy move in less than two weeks, and I find what helps is stopping every once in awhile to stare out the window and drink a glass of water. 🙂

  2. Hi — I don’t know what you mean by not doing doctors well, but I will mention something that seems to help with some doctor issues: among my friends we have started a “tradition” where we bring along a friend to a doctor visit, who takes notes. By having someone taking notes, you are more likely to get everything straight that the doctor says to do or not do, and it takes away much of the stress of trying to understand and remember. Plus it gives another viewpoint. Sometimes the note-taking friend thinks of questions to ask that you wouldn’t have thought of til later (because of the stress). It requires a pretty level-headed friend, but it helps with “the doctor thing.”
    Take care of yourself.

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